The Incredible Power in Your Kitchen: Hafrashas Challah: The Mitzvah of Challah

Hafrashas Challah: The Mitzvah of Challah, by Rebbetzin Esther Toledano, shows us the power of what seems to be a fairly simple mitzvah: separating a piece from our bread dough. Simple — but what power there is in that small piece! Power so immense, the Midrash tells us, that this mitzvah was given to rectify Chavah’s sin of eating from the forbidden tree.

The Shelah HaKadosh says that when we take challah we sanctify the bread, which then “purifies the body and the soul.” Looking for a segulah for parnassah, for health, for an easy birth? You don’t have to look further than that bowl of dough on your kitchen counter; taking challah is an ancient and accepted segulah for so many blessings. In addition to its immeasurable spiritual benefits, taking challah offers women an invaluable time to pour out their hearts in sincere prayer.

For the newbie who has never baked challah, and for the experienced baker looking for tips, ideas, or inspiration, Hafrashas Challah has something for everyone. It’s full of inspirational stories and insights to encourage regular challah baking. It includes prayers and techinos, in Hebrew and English, which can be recited while preparing the dough and taking the challah, and a fascinating explanation of the symbolism of each step in the baking process, with appropriate prayers. The laws of the mitzvah of taking challah are included, written in a clear, easy-to-follow style. In addition there are recipes, baking tips, and braiding instructions with full-color illustrations to make sure your challah comes out gorgeous. A special chapter gives all the reasons people say they can’t bake their own challah — and all the ways they will discover that they can.

With its stunning cover, suitable for embossing, and its beautifully designed, full-color pages, Hafrashas Challah makes a memorable and welcome gift for individuals, simchahs, and organizations.

In his Foreword to the book, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa and founder of The Worldwide Shabbos Project, describes Hafrashas Challah: The Mitzvah of Challah: “This book unveils the beauty and power of the mitzvah of separating challah. It sets out in a clear and passionate style the practicalities, importance, and inspiration of the mitzvah of hafrashas challah. In so doing it does a great service for Klal Yisrael ….”

The time is now. Start baking — and taking — challah, and watch those blessings flow in!

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